Citing Data

Graphical Version

Citing Data


All data (even your own) used in publications, presentations, posters, etc. should be cited to

  1. provide access and proper credit
  2. allow for verification of results
  3. encourage reuse of the data

That is, data citation is just as important as citing the literature consulted. It helps maintain the chain of the scholarly record.

Citation Elements

To be most effective, a data citation should include at least the following elements. The utility of these elements will depend on the research discipline, source data center/repository, and data format.

  • Responsible party (i.e., study PI, sample collector, government agency)
  • Name of table, map, or dataset with any applicable unique IDs
  • Date published (the date the data were created or posted online)
  • Name of data center, repository, and/or publication
  • Type of data file
  • Analysis software, if required
  • Date accessed
  • URL and/or DOI/DOI link or other persistent link

Citation Guides

Citation Format Creation

If a DOI exist for your data, use the CrossRef Data Citation Formatter to generate a citation in a certain language and format/style (e.g. APA or Geological Society of America, etc.). Try it by going to the link and entering this DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR07325.

Citation Examples

Pew Hispanic Center. (2008). 2007 Hispanic Healthcare Survey [Data file and code book]. Retrieved from

CBS News. 2009. CBS News Poll: Energy USCBS2009-02A Version 2 [MRDF]. New York: CBS News [producer]. Storrs, CT: The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, University of Connecticut [distributor].

National Center for Health Statistics. National Ambulatory Medical Survey, 1994. Public-use data file and documentation. 1996.

Duncan, Otis D., and Howard Schuman. Detroit Area Study, 1971: Social Problems and Social Change in Detroit [Computer file]. ICPSR07325-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1997. doi:10.3886/ICPSR07325



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